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U.S. Open gets two new stadiums, but no roof

Posted in: Tennis News   |   By: TENNIS.com - Headlines on June 14, 2012

The USTA's plans for an upgrade of the National Tennis Center do not include a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, or on a new Louis Armstrong Stadium. USTA officials say that the gigantic Arthur Ashe Stadium, which was built on a swamp and seats 23,700, cannot physically absorb the weight of a roof.

The new Armstrong Stadium, which will seat 15,000, will be able to support a roof, but will not get one until the main stadium does.

“The tournament does not function with a single roof being anywhere but the main stadium,” Daniel Zausner, managing director of the tennis center, told the New York Times. "If rain halted a match at Ashe, you can’t tell people to move to Louis, which will have 15,000 seats. That leaves 8,000-plus without a seat.”

The new Armstrong Stadium might not be ready until 2018. The current one, which was first constructed as the Singer Bowl for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, and is said to have outlived its usefulness.

The deteriorating yet popular Grandstand court will also be torn down, and a new mini-stadium will be built in its place to accommodate 8,000 fans, up from 6,000. The current Grandstand was also constructed for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The new one may open in 2015.

There are also plans for a covered, two-level viewing deck over the five practice courts and two match courts west of Ashe Stadium. Two parking garages will be constructed over existing parking lots to accommodate additional spaces.

The construction will be financed by the USTA. The costs of the upgrades are estimated to be around $500 million over 10 years.

Rain delays have caused the U.S. Open men’s final to be played on a Monday for the past four years.

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